2014

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

 My Refiners Fire. 



After some thought, I've decided to call 2014 the year that I reached my bullshit limit. 

Bullshit limit meaning that one day I got up and realized I was doing things I didn't want to do, in a place I didn't want to be.

...We dont love where we live....We dont have enough time for the things we want to do anymore....This is bullshit....Let's move.....We'll figure it out along the way. 

And that, my friends, is the conversation that started it all. 

I took all the rules and pretend boundaries we as parents (and mostly just 'we' as humans) put on ourselves, and kicked them to the curb. 

All these fake rules and boundaries like:

You're not supposed to move your child unless you absolutely have to. It's hard to make new friends. 
What are you going to tell them you're doing, you need a plan B? 
You're leaving a good job?!?
You'll never get with a good insurance by yourself.
What about school, Zuri will be behind, right? 
How will your kids feel secure? 
Unless you have x amount of saving you shouldn't be taking such risks. 
You know, when kids feel unstable they start acting out.
Moving right before a baby will be too hard. 
Moving right after a baby will be too hard. 
Moving is hard. 

Blah blah blah. The list continues.

But who comes up with these anyways? Why do we all play into these ideas? It's like ancient folklore or old wives tales. It's something to talk about when people fear the unknown. But these ideas are not real, unless you're the one making them real. 

Plus, I've found that if I am open,  honest, attentive, and loving to my kids, family and friends then things usually end up working out. The big things do, at least. The rest truly doesn't matter. 

There were, and always will be, a million and 1 fear based reasons to just keep doing what you've always done because you know it works. But  where's the fun and adventure in that? Living a life you're not in love with because you're too afraid of change doesn't feel like living at all to me. 

So we left the amazing full time job with wonderful benefits just 6 weeks before I was due to deliver our new baby boy,  Ozzy (whom I must properly introduce in another post coming shortly. He's so awesome that he most definitely deserves his own). We moved into our families basement and sent all our belongings 12 hours away to a storage pod near the vicinity we think we want to potentially end up.  Zuri started full time school in Utah, then 3 weeks later I had a baby. 5 weeks after the new baby, we threw a freaking Lantern festival in the Mojave Desert where 11,000 people showed up. 11,000! It was kind of amazing to say the least and is now the largest Lantern festival in the world.

Along the way we took people for their word. We got burned a few times but for the most part have we continue to find that people are good, and timing in this life is impeccable. We made a lot of mistakes. We took risks. Bronson lost jobs, gained others. I juggled kids seamlessly, and then had moments where I truly felt as though I was drowning in motherhood and all my children's needs. My marriage and personal life had flourishing times and then periods of complete and utter despair. 

This. is. life. 

What I've rediscovered this past year is that to love someone is to know them. All of them. The good the bad the ugly. And I promise you this: That if you understand someone....and I mean truly get to understand, then it will become very hard for you to hate that person. If you're having ill feelings towards anybody, I urge you to talk to them. Not at them. To them. Get them to open up and tell you their life story. Be a trusting ear....Not a judging one. You will find a love for the person you thought you hate. Test it. 

So it's now 2015. I have fewer answers to the questions I had in 2014, and only more questions. Nothing is for sure. Life can change at the drop of a dime and it's silly for us to think anyone is actually in control. But I do know this: 
I've decided I want to create a life I don't have to vacation from. And Im not going to stop until I feel like we get there. 

Come at me, 2015. 

Quiet

Monday, July 21, 2014

            

During times of extreme change I become quiet.  Private, maybe, is a better description. Either way, I have been going through one of those periods for a few months and I feel ready to talk about it now. 

For the longest time I have known we needed to be somewhere else....Doing something else. I've felt pulled in an unknown direction for months and have been pretty confused as to why, to be quite honest. 

On one hand, I felt greedy. I felt greedy because I am fully aware and appreciative of the awesome life we live.  So why was I having these underlying feelings that it wasn't enough...that there is something more...something else out there for me and my family? 

And on the other hand, I know these types of thoughts are not random. They are your gut. Your intuition...a divine power stepping in and urging you to make a move--and if I've learned anything over the last few years it's that you listen to your gut. 

....even when your gut is telling you, 'NOW! Flip your life upside down, and do it right now.' 
--and you're like, "Ummmm, you sure about this, gut?? This is so risky. Plus, 
this is the worst timing ever... Remember you're having a baby in like just a minute? And the kids each start school next month?? What about our insurance? ...this is just a really crazy time for us, gut. Can all this life altering moving and job change stuff happen after, pleaseeee?" 

Gut's response: No. Now. Do it all now. 

So we are. 

We flew home from a wonderful vacation with my family in McCall, Idaho last night, sans children, to pack up our whole house up in just 7 short days.  

From there, we've decided to move to our favorite little town in San Diego as soon as all the dust settles and we find a house...and, of course, deliver this baby boy of mine. 

It all sounds so fast doesn't it? It's because it is. But when I truly look back, I can seen a chain of events all leading up to this exact moment starting almost a year ago. Everything from chance encounters with random Instagram friends, to getting invited to go on a trip to Thailand with total strangers and saying yes without any hesitation at all....it's all meant to be. I feel it and see it  so clearly now. 

Life is pretty cool when you sit back and don't resist it, isn't it? 




Rise Festival

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

                     

I'm pretty stoked to announce whats been going on behind all the curtains over here...

..and I guess it all begins with a trip.

Last November we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of Chiang Mai, Thailand with one of our long time friends, Jef, and a lot of other new friends from the Electric Run.

While we were in Thailand we were lucky enough to get into an annual lantern festival that people from all around the world come to see.

Hundreds of monks sat in a semi circle, beautifully chanting mantras together while 2 thousand people poured into the event.  Every type of person from young to old were there all soaking in the atmosphere.  Music was playing, and just as dusk settled in, everyone lit, then released their own sky lantern in unison.

It was happiness like Ive never experienced.
It was beauty like I've never seen.
I've never been so in the moment and focused on one thing ever before in my life.

It was a small sliver of Heaven on Earth.

We lit lantern after lantern all together as a group.  We wrote our hopes, dreams, prayers, and wishes onto each one and watched it float away high into the sky. Something about it felt like a renewal. It was like hitting the 'refresh' button of life.

It was so beyond magical.

We left the event all packed into a tiny rental car, and non of us could shut up about what just happened...it was so inspiring and awesome. The owner of the Electric Run, Dan, was talking about how much he wished his wife was there so she could have taken part...and we all agreed. We want everyone we know and love to get to experience this magical event!

...and with that,  The Rise Festival was conceived.

So when everyone got home from Thailand, we went to work. Months of dreaming,  planning, fuel cell testing,  and permitting have taken place....and I'm so, so excited to let you all in on what everyone I know and love have been creating.

To see for yourself what I'm talking about, go to RISEFESTIVAL.COM.

You can read up on:
-What the event itself will be like
-Locations and dates of the festival
-Sustainability
-...and watch the most breathtaking video of our experience with the lanterns together in Chiang Mai.

You can help us out tremendously by joining to be apart of the mailing list at the bottom of the page on the Rise site.... So please, please sign up!


We're so proud of this event. We'd love to invite you and anyone you know to experience it for yourself this upcoming October in Nevada, or November in Bali.

Feel free to share.



Rise: Lantern Festival
from Rise on Vimeo.






A peek into our Friday night.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The kids played night games with all the neighbors in our cul-de-sac after eating at Freebirds. 

While they were outside Bronson worked on making Zuri's old bike into a homemade balance bike in the garage, and I sat my large pregnant self into my kids stroller to watch it all go down. 

It was getting darker and the kids had to come in---they were pretty bummed. So to distract them, I let them pick a movie to watch before bed. 

They picked a new movie I had just recorded, Edward Scissorhands. 

My children have this strange love affair with wonderfully creepy characters and shows. Both of them do...and it's so weird because it's not something we ever cultivated or encouraged as their parents.  They just naturally gravitated to shows like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Scooby Doo,  Coraline, and now this, Edward Scissorhands. 

Zuri nor Remi have ever complained once of having a nightmare or scary dream. I don't think they know they even exist. 
(I'm knocking on wood. Literally) 
But the best part about all this is that they both are adamant about the scary looking guys actually being real good guys. They'll have tears well up in their eyes when their favorite scary guy gets their feelings hurt or is misunderstood. 

They have the biggest hearts. 

The biggest and the most bad ass little girl hearts ever.
It's so sweet. 

Anyway, Remi went outside to tell her dad and Ruckus all about her new love, Edward Scissorhands, and I recorded a little bit. 

video video


Do like how she wants to snuggle the guy with knives for fingers, but freaks out over a little flying bug? 

...'cause I do. 





Babe, it's me Bronson.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wes babe,

Hi. Its 4am I have your arm sprawled over my chest (which I moved off very strategically so you wouldn’t wake up, and that I could grab my laptop). I have your pregnancy pillow ramming into my ribs and both your legs on top of mine, so you know just a typical night. Anyway, I want to apologize now, for hacking into your blog and writing this post. I don’t know why I had a feeling to write it, and when you wake up if its erased I get it. Ha.

 You know that I don’t looove to share a lot of personal experiences via social media but I want to tell you how much I love you, and who ever comes across this post I want them to know what an incredible person, wife, and mother you are and I hope that one day they get the opportunity to meet you…

Im not a good writer, but im going to try my best.

I want to rewind to 2006 when we first met. I remember seeing you for the first time and thinking to myself, no way, no way this girl is real life. I took a double take and you really were, my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me; my very next thought was, this girl is so gorgeous­­–but she’s probably super lame and boring and completely out of my league. That night we were with all our friends and I was just watching you, you were so funny, you had the most amazing smile and energy I couldn’t even handle it, I actually think I left and drove home cause I felt like that creep in the corner just watching your every move.

Weeks later we were with the same crew everyone was in one room and you were no where to be found. I guess I got in “creep mode” again and started looking for you. I finally turned the corner at the end of the hallway and there you were, looking in the mirror tying to fix the bobby pins that fell out of your hair. I remember walking right up to you not saying a word grabbed your face gave you kiss and then walked out. I don’t know what went through your head at that time but I didn’t know those 3 AAAAAMAZING seconds would change my life forever.

Fast forward a few months, we starting dating “kind of”, I remember people asking us if we were “boyfriend–girlfriend” we were nervous to actually claim it, so I remember I would just say “she’s my babe” and we would look at each other and smile.

We were weeks away from graduating high school, and we started talking about which colleges to go to. I remember a few weeks later you got a letter in the mail saying Weslie we are giving you a full ride scholarship to Southern Utah University, I remember when you told me I was so happy for you/wanting to throw up. I was thinking this girl that I love more than anything in this world, but have never told her I love her, is leaving in two days with her mom to go check out the college dorm rooms, classes etc. I remember trying to play it cool and saying, “ya, go check it out, go have fun and i’ll see you in a few days”.
You were probably not even an hour into the drive and I remember texting you saying “Wes please don’t go to that college, I wouldn’t know what I would do if you left me and were 5 hours away, I want to let you know I have never had feelings like this with anyone in my entire life and that, I LOVE YOU.”
Ahhh, I’m such a kook, the first time im telling you THE 3 big words its through a text message. Anyway, there I am staring at my phone wondering what your response is going to be. I finally get a text back 12 hours later saying, don’t worry I’m not going here. I was so happy you have no idea.

We later finally got college situated you got accepted with a scholarship to the University of Utah, I didn’t have any plans but to follow wherever you were, so I registered for 3 classes at Salt Lake Community College: Yoga, Math and some random design class. We finally finished out school and moved back down ­­to live with our parents because you decided you wanted to be an esthetician.

You finally finished up school and I was starting to work. I remember around that  time we pulled into my parents house. I turned off the car, you looked at me and said “Bronson, I think I might be pregnant” I started having a million things running through my head like: There’s no way, I have like $400 to my name, we are 19 years old, how can we afford to have a baby, what are we going to do, we’re still babies, babies cant have babies and the list goes on. I turn the car back on drive down to the grocery store. I bought 3 of the most expensive pregnancy tests (thinking these have to be the most accurate since their so damn expensive) so now my bank account is probably pushing a strong $340 now. We drive back to my parents run down stairs into the bathroom, and said pee in this cup, so we have enough pee for all these tests. Right when you finished, we can hear my mom upstairs yelling down at us saying, “Wes, come cut some of these pomegranates with me” so you just run up the stairs like we weren’t about to find out one of the biggest life changers ever. So now its me, a grip load of pregnancy tests and a cup of your pee. I immediately rip open the test stick it in the pee for 5 seconds and then put the cap back on and set it flat on the counter. I start reading the instructions, it said something like; after 5 minutes if there is a + sign showing then its positive, so I Look down, its probably been only 20 seconds since I just laid it down with a bright purple + sign. Open up another one same thing, open another one same, I run upstairs to ask you where the keys to the car were because I left the last box of tests in there, I ran outside and went back down into the bathroom, you walked in and said let me try, you put the test in laid it down and BOOM same thing. YOU’RE PREGNANT! Im broke, well we were both broke, 19 years old, living at our parents houses. Haha. I remember we walked outside and went on a drive to talk about what the plan was, I remember feeling so calm and I looked right into your huge eskimo eyes and said, I love you, this is going to be really hard, and it will probably be amazing. I knew I wanted to marry you, this is just going to make it happen a little sooner than we thought, we got this. We both laughed a little drove back to my parents told them, then we told her parents, I purposed to you a few weeks later and then we got married 3 months later, which was one of the most beautiful experiences from me seeing you for the first time walking down those stairs in your dress, you looked incredible, I’ll never forget that. We have gone through some of the toughest, and most amazing experiences together. I want you to know I am still standing on my feet because of you.  Thank you for loving me, thank you for being the strongest women in this entire world, thank you for having the best attitude regardless of the situation, thank you for supporting me in my career, thank you for inspiring me to be a better person, husband, and father, thank you for caring for our children you have raised and taught them to be so selfless and loving, thank you for being by my side every second of every day, thanks for always having my back, thanks for being so damn funny that I laugh until tears are streaming down my face, thank you for being such an amazing example to other people, I love you more than I can even put into words.


Here we are 8 years later, with a tiny little family and a third little love chug on the way.
Happy Mothers Day, I love you.





Meet Hilda

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I have an ego.
A big one.

You do, too.

We all do.

How we channel our ego is what differentiates us from being either huge a**holes, or pleasant people.

*side note: I've been doing a lot of reading on introverts. The subject is fascinating to me because I only recently found out that I am one. I've always had the misconception that being an introvert was a negative thing when in all actually, it's a pretty powerful and positive trait. You see, itroverts lack a certain need to have everything they think and say be validated. They simply know what they know, and other peoples opinions don't sway them.


I used to think 'introvert' meant that you're shy, don't communicate well, aren't outgoing..so on and so forth. I was groomed into thinking this all throughout childhood and adolescents because you hear from parents, teachers, and coaches to stand out from the crowd. To get up and say something! Join the group! Be outgoing! Get involved! Don't be shy! Shine!

Remember all these?

So when these principals of extreme outgoing-ness go against your nature, and you are pretty content just chilling by yourself---you tend to think something is wrong with you. Surely only people that are loud and boisterous are successful. Only the people who are brave enough to stand up and open their mouth are worth listening to, right?

Meh? This is iffy for me still. I'm not sure I buy into it.

Regardless though, I have pushed and continue to push myself out of my comfort zone throughout my whole life. In high school I went way beyond my comfort zone and became the school's MC.   I would be the one standing in front the entire school at assemblies and pep rallies hyping up the crowd by chanting things like, "Zero 6! Zero 6!"

Did I care about being the center of attention? Nope, not one bit. I hated it....still do.  It makes me want to barf and my face turns bright red. That's the real me. My true inner self.

Hi. My name is Weslie, and I like books and exploring new places, and being in front of people evokes bodily reactions in me. Nice to meet you. 

-But I couldn't barf and be a tomato face in front of 3 thousand of my peers.
 So, I had to become someone I wasn't. I had to pretend to actually like that sort of stuff. I had to create a piece of me that was really excited about the year 2006 for some reason, then jump up and down with a huge smile on my face. 
 I had to find that person within myself just so I didn't puke all over the gymnasium floor.

And voila! Meet my ego. I feel like it's  time to name her.... She seems like a Bridgette. Or a Hilda. 

I like Hilda. 

So, Hilda gets rowdy. Hilda gets in peoples faces when push comes to shove. Hilda gets in front of her high school and she's also the one in front of the camera lens. Hilda gets jealous and anxious. Hilda can be mean. Sometimes Hilda thinks she needs things she actually doesn't to make her happy. But most importantly, Hilda just gets shit done. 

She gets things done fast, and she gets them done efficiently, too. She's not afraid of anyone or anything.

My natural soul is such a lovey dovey, vibey, spirit junkie that it would be really easy for me to dismiss myself from society entirely. I could run around in scarce clothing on some far away hill with my kids and be totally content for forever.  So do you see how I need Hilda?  Not everyday....but she's a vital part of my introverted real self. She balances me out.

For Example: two days ago I went to Target. I was handing the clothes I had tried on back to the Target worker and my kids were by the cart. Long story short, a lady came up and started scolding Remi for taking off her shoes...It was obvious this woman had no idea I was these children's mother, and that I was watching her verbally go nuts on my kids. All of a sudden, this lady started reaching for my daughters hand with the shoes in them. She couldn't get her shoes because Remi moved away, so she aggressively grabbed Remi's arm. I mean aggressively.  

A freaking stranger put her hands on one of my terrified children.

I saw red.
Then I growled.

Serious.

I growled.

Within 2 strides I was behind the lady and I felt like some crazed, primal animal making a noise that I cannot re-create if you paid me. The lady looked at me with huge, wide eyes then, literally, ran away. She. Ran. Away.
No words were needed between the two of us.

All that was Hilda. Not me. And I was so grateful for her in that instance. I needed her.

So, it turns out egos aren't always a**holes. If you can differentiate your true self from your ego self then life becomes a whole lot easier. Learn to utilize your ego for good, rather than a vehicle for your insecurities and bad mojo to get around, and I promise doors will open for you, my friends.


...and end rant.




Interview with Remi

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

When Zuri was about 2 and half we did a little Q&A session with her...we dug it up out of the youtube archives and decided to ask Remi the same questions at 2 1/2.

Both the differences and similarities between the two girls at this age is so funny. For one, Remi sounds like she's been sucking on helium, and Zuri sounds like she smokes a pack a day and shoots whiskey.

And two, both girls are in jammies, wrapped up in a blanket watching scooby-doo. This is just a coincidence... not planned at all. Weird, right?

Anyway, enjoy!






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